Christmas cheer set for early arrival
AFTER a tough year for businesses and community, the City of Greater Geelong is making a list and checking it twice, to ensure the spirit of Christmas – and visitors – are coming to town.
The City of Greater Geelong’s extra early festivities include an expanded program of free Christmas events and activities, including a Giant Christmas Selfie Trail.
Deputy mayor Trent Sullivan has unveiled a sneak peek of the city’s promotional campaign for Christmas with a billboard at Eastern Beach that reminds the community that ‘Christmas is coming’.
This week, a giant Christmas tree is being rolled out on the wall of the Civic Car Park opposite Geelong City Hall, with the Christmas In Geelong 2021’s Projection Show scheduled to start on November 12.
The digital wonderland will screen nightly on the City Hall from 8.30pm until 11.30pm, and can also be viewed on the city’s website, with festive projections also planned for Shorts Place.
The Giant Christmas Selfie Trail across 22 locations will include five interactive artworks at Corio, North Geelong, and Norlane.
The floating Christmas Tree will be back with its spectacular sound and light show in early November, which can also be viewed via live feed, without audio, or a sound and light recording can be enjoyed 24-seven.
The school Christmas Trees will decorate Johnstone Park, festive street entertainment is planned, Santa’s letterboxes will also be in place and the Geelong Giving Tree Appeal is on the list.
Geelong’s pre-pandemic Christmas program generated an estimated $18.5 million in economic activity and attracted more than 330,000 visitors, with the floating tree alone attracting 193,000 visitors.
Cr Sullivan said the Christmas program provided an economic benefit to the region, boosted Geelong’s profile and spread pride and Christmas cheer throughout the community.
“The Geelong region will be filled with music, shopping, projections, decorations and activity as we help residents and businesses to get into the Christmas spirit,” he said.
Councillor Eddy Kontelj said, given the challenging pandemic environment, the council really wanted “to create some positivity now, whilst also providing the community, including families and children, with something to look forward to and get excited about”.
“November and December are such a critical time of year for our hospitality businesses, so we’re encouraging everyone to dine out locally while enjoying the free entertainment and attractions provided across the region,” Cr Kontelj said.
Councillor Kylie Grzybek said the 22 destinations on the Giant Selfie Trail would have something for everyone.
“We’re creating experiences that are perfect for family photos and selfies,” Cr Grzybek said.
”There will be candy canes, a surfing Santa and of course some mistletoe.
“We can’t wait to release the full Christmas program soon.”
The program has been designed with safety as its highest priority, so visitors can enjoy the festive season in line with COVID-19 guidelines including social distancing, masks and QR codes.